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Lakshmi Narayan Rao, Director and Leader – Digital Transformation Solutions, Dimension Data

DIGITALISATION Identifying the right partner in IoT journey

Dec 14, 2018

Lakshmi Narayan Rao, Director and Leader – Digital Transformation Solutions, Dimension Data, in this interaction with Juili Eklahare, shares his views on India’s challenges while adopting IoT and how manufacturers can leverage IoT strategy to grow sales. Excerpts…

Is there any chance in how, with IoT data, manufacturers are changing their supply chain model, with regard to their customers? For a customer facing IoT strategy, what should manufacturers focus on to ensure their customers benefit from the better data?

While it would be unwise to say that most manufacturing companies know where to go, it is fair to say that they understand the direction to drive towards factory automation & eventually, Industry 4.0. According to IDC & SAP, over half of the global manufacturers will use analytics data tracked, using connected devices to analyse processes and identify optimisation possibilities. By connecting plants to suppliers, all the parties concerned with the supply chain can trace interdependencies, material flow and manufacturing cycle times.

Effective reporting enables manufacturers to collect & feed delivery information into their management information systems. Access to real-time supply chain information enables tracking materials, equipment, and products as they move through the supply chain.

For manufacturers, what are some specific use cases for what they can gain from an IoT evolution?

Some of the use cases that are gaining traction and are providing tangible benefits to manufacturers in the IoT evolution are digital connected factory/plant automation, secure operations, logistics & supply chain optimisation and asset tracking & management.

What are some ways manufacturers can leverage IoT strategy to increase sales? Are there any opportunities to generate revenue from the data that IoT devices are generating?

IoT enables real time insights which effectively translate to better system uptimes, better overall productivity, reduced losses and overall increased customer satisfaction metrics. Any organisation that can find ways to ingest data & channel it into insights can gain from sharing & monetising those insights. The data generated in itself would be a very good knowledge base that could provide incremental insights and failure prediction patterns.

What’s the biggest stumbling block for India on the road to IoT? How can it be dealt with?

Security, scale and the eco-system are the biggest impediments for IoT gaining mass traction in India. It is important for manufacturing enterprises to identify the right partner in their IoT journey. IoT sensors magnify the vulnerability. A robust solution design ensures holistic security coverage, interoperability between varied systems and finally the business insights that drive productivity and market alignment reduce costs and enhance overall customer satisfaction.

It is imperative to plan for scale from the design stage itself. Most optimal would be pilots that expand their foot print onto production mode, thereby saving time and resources. Another consideration is the need for a comprehensive eco-system that spans the breadth from the edge to the data centre and beyond to Big Data, analytics and actionable insights.

What does the manufacturing group of the IET IoT panel plan to do, to promote IoT adoption in the manufacturing sector? What does Dimension Data have planned for itself next?

The Manufacturing working group of IET IoT Panel has set an agenda to build the awareness about IoT within the Manufacturing segment. This is accomplished by running regular primers & orientation programs on IoT and its relevance to manufacturing for all the member organisations.

At Dimension Data, we are building the full stack solution for IoT deployment by integrating the best of breed technology layers across the board from sensors to analytical tools to dashboards. Our vision is to enable clients in building a strong infrastructure foundation for enabling learning algorithms, Machine Learning & AI functionality of the future.

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